Lucas Giolito, White Sox try to take series vs. Orioles

MLB

The Chicago White Sox have one of the best offenses in baseball but they showed the Baltimore Orioles the importance of that and good pitching while winning easily Friday night. Chicago will try to do more of the same when it faces the host Orioles Saturday afternoon.

For the White Sox, starter Dallas Keuchel (7-3) led the way in Friday’s 12-1 victory. He gave up one run and seven hits in seven innings. Michael Kopech and Matt Foster then finished things off by each throwing a scoreless inning.

The White Sox have a strong rotation, and things don’t get any easier for Baltimore Saturday with Lucas Giolito (6-6, 4.20 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings) starting. Giolito is 1-2 with a 7.53 ERA against the Orioles in his career.

“We’re going to have to beat the good teams,” Keuchel said. “We’re doing our job beating the teams we should beat. We’re very competitive now.”

As for the offense, Adam Engel hit a three-run homer and Gavin Sheets added a solo shot. Sheets just broke into the majors last month, and this was his third career homer.

It also meant something extra because he is a Baltimore native, and his father, Larry, played for the Orioles and remains a high school coach in the area. He was in the front row and wearing a big grin when his son crossed the plate.

“That was an emotional moment,” Sheets said. “My dad was . . . the first person I saw when I touched home. I think that was a cooler moment for him than any time he played.”

Eloy Jimenez, who has yet to play this season after surgery on a torn left pectoral muscle, had his rehab assignment with Class A Winston-Salem pushed back a day after the team’s game Friday was postponed. It will be made up Saturday as part of a doubleheader.

Thomas Eshelman (0-1, 7.16) starts for the Orioles Saturday, his fifth start this season. This will be his first career appearance against the White Sox.

Baltimore is looking for something good from a starter or a relief pitcher, especially when it comes to control. The Orioles have struggled in that area recently, especially when walking eight in Friday’s loss.

What made that worse is that five of those free passes came in the sixth inning. Chicago added one hit, and all of that proved enough for the visitors to score four runs and take charge with a 6-1 lead.

“It definitely affected the game,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said of the walks. “I don’t know if fatigue is a (factor). We’re just a little bit inconsistent right now.”

Ramon Urias continued his solid play at shortstop and homered for Baltimore’s only run in the loss. Urias has been filling in for the injured Freddy Galvis, and Hyde said he’s swinging well and making the plays on defense, and that’s all they can ask.

Kelvin Gutierrez, acquired from Kansas City on July 3, made his first start at third base and showed some offense and defense. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and made some solid plays on defense, including running to snag a foul ball in short left field with his back to the plate.

–Field Level Media

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